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Featured Staff Pick: March 2019
Wonder Woman Unbound by
Call Number: PN 6728 W6 H34 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
With her golden lasso and her bullet-deflecting bracelets, Wonder Woman is a beloved icon of female strength in a world of male superheroes. But this close look at her history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world. In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women's lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man. Ms. magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman's feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history as well as her modern incarnations adds new dimensions to the world's most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman's iconic status.
Featured Staff Pick: January
Social Media Organizational Identity and Public Relations by
Call Number: HD 59 T487 2019
Publication Date: 2018-10-01
Public relations has been swift to grasp social media, yet its impact on public relations practice remains relatively unexplored. This book, by MSVU professor Amy Thurlow, focusses on a way of understanding organizational identity construction in a virtual context, developing scholarship on the importance of a virtual presence in PR management, and further, to make sense of these identities as authentic, legitimate or plausible. Through a diverse group of empirical case studies, this book explores the global perspective on organizational identities which transcend global boundaries via the internet including Volkswagen's emissions scandal and Monsanto and organized social media protests. It also explores crowdfunding - an emerging form of capitalist development constructed through sensemaking in social media. By looking at the emergence of organization in today's social media environment, it identifies how the interactive is created on a digitally mediated platform, sharing knowledge and engaging individuals in organizational identity construction. Viewing the social construction of organizational identities through this lens, this innovative book locates how identities are plausible, authentic and legitimate - or not - through their ongoing communication via social media. It will be of great interest to academics teaching and researching in public relations, organisational communication and social media.
Featured Staff Pick: September
Media Hoaxing by
Call Number: P 95.8 R45 2018
Publication Date: 2018-08-24
This book explores the history, theory, practice, politics, and efficacy of hoaxing through an in-depth study of the Yes Men, one of the most important media activist groups to have emerged in the past two decades. Better known as humorous deceptions or politically motivated deceptive actions, media hoaxes are increasingly being used by activists seeking to change the world by drawing attention to abuses of power by corporations and governments. In this regard, the Yes Men are the unrivaled masters of the media hoax. By blending cutting political satire, outlandish humor, and sobering social criticism, they expose the wrongdoings of the world's most powerful institutions to make them more accountable, transparent, and responsible to the public. These interventions serve as compelling case studies from which to explore two defining tensions underpinning all activist endeavors--failure and success. In situating the Yes Men's work in relation to failure and success, discussions surrounding the defining realities of activist struggle come to the fore, creating room for greater emphasis on cycles of activist innovation, adaptation, and renewal. Thus, this book sheds light on why media hoaxing has emerged as a significant 21st century activist practice and makes a case for the significance of the media hoax as a positive force in the articulation of utopian politics.
Featured Staff Pick: Celebrate Caribbean Independence
The Suffrage of Elvira by
Call Number: PR 9272.9 N32 S9 1969
Publication Date: 1959
''Elvira'' is the story of a village election, and it is also a satiric examination of the consequences of political change. Mr. Naipaul has never bought that popular romantic vision that has a brave new world rising from the dust of the empire, and the slapstick goings-on in Elvira betray a deep skepticism of progress. For example, when Harbans - who hands out bribes, payoffs and presents the way others hand out promises - complains that elections are awfully expensive to buy, a friend turns to him and declares: ''You must try and feel that you giving to the people. After all, is the meaning of this democracy.'' In the end, Harbans's efforts almost come to naught when a stray dog triggers the voters' superstitions, nearly setting off a panic. (Review from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1983/01/17/books/books-of-the-times-168738.html)
"V. S. Naipaul, was a Trinidadian-British writer who won the 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Trinidad in a family with Indo-Nepalese roots, resided in England as an adult, and travelled across, and wrote about, India, Africa, the Islamic world, and South and North America in his novels and non-fiction works. He is known for his comic early novels set in Trinidad and Tobago, his bleaker later novels of the wider world, and his autobiographical chronicles of life and travels. He published more than thirty books, both of fiction and nonfiction, over some fifty years." (Wikipedia)
Featured Staff Pick: June is Pride Month!
Fun Home by
Call Number: PN 6727 B3757 Z46 2007
Publication Date: 2007-06-05
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic -- and redemptive.
Featured Staff Pick: May is Asian Heritage Month
Call Number: PS 8639 H89 R813 2013
Publication Date: 2009
Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow--of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.
Featured Staff Pick :: April is Poetry Month
Live From the Afrikan Resistance! by
Call Number: PS 8619 O5324 L59 2014
Publication Date: 2014
Live from the Afrikan Resistance! is the first collection of spoken word poetry by Halifax’s fifth Poet Laureate, El Jones. These poems speak of community and struggle. They are grounded in the political culture of African Nova Scotia and inherit the styles and substances of hip- hop, dub and calypso’s political commentary. They engage historical themes and figures and analyze contemporary issues — racism, environmental racism, poverty and, violence — as well as confront the realities of life as a Black woman. The voice is urgent, uncompromising and passionate in its advocacy and demands. One of Canada’s most controversial spoken word artists, El Jones writes to educate, to move communities to action and to demonstrate the possibilities of resistance and empowerment. Gathered from seven years of performances, these poems represent the tradition of the prophetic voice in Black Nova Scotia.
Featured Staff Pick: March
The Biology of the First 1,000 Days by
Call Number: RG 525 B56 2018
Publication Date: 2017-09-20
The first 1,000 days, from conception to two years of age, is a critical period of growth and development. Exposures to dietary, environmental, hormonal, and other stressors during this window have been associated with an increased risk of poor health outcomes, some of which are irreversible. The book addresses this crucial interval of early life across biological disciplines, linking concepts related to all biological fields to outcomes during the first 1,000 days (e.g. fetal growth and pregnancy outcomes) and beyond (e.g. gut microbiome and cardiovascular disease later in life). The strength of this book lies in its cross-disciplinary nature.
The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily by
Call Number: PZ 8 B965 Be 2003
Publication Date: 2003-12-31
Dino Buzzati was an acclaimed author, accomplished poet, and amateurish artist who put all his skills to best effect in La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia (The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily is its arhythmically-rendered English title). The illustrations that accompany Buzzati's surrealistic tale prove you don't have to know how to draw to masterfully tell a story in pictures. If imperfection bothers you don't pick up this book--it's the shaggy work of a creator who'll dare try anything. Reading The Little Prince, you may feel like you are in the company of an author who can elevate you to the heavens. With La famosa invasione, you ride shotgun to a man who would come over to your house, drink all your liquor, burn your house down with his cigarette, and still manage to convince you how lovely a waltz the flames were dancing.
–– John Bemelmans Marciano
Review from: http://curiouspages.blogspot.ca/2009/11/bears-famous-invasion-of-sicily.htm
Weighing In by
Call Number: RA 645 O23 G88 2011
Publication Date: 2011-11-05
Weighing In takes on the "obesity epidemic," challenging many widely held assumptions about its causes and consequences. Julie Guthman examines fatness and its relationship to health outcomes to ask if our efforts to prevent "obesity" are sensible, efficacious, or ethical. She also focuses the lens of obesity on the broader food system to understand why we produce cheap, over-processed food, as well as why we eat it. Guthman takes issue with the currently touted remedy to obesity--promoting food that is local, organic, and farm fresh. While such fare may be tastier and grown in more ecologically sustainable ways, this approach can also reinforce class and race inequalities and neglect other possible explanations for the rise in obesity, including environmental toxins. Arguing that ours is a political economy of bulimia--one that promotes consumption while also insisting upon thinness--Guthman offers a complex analysis of our entire economic system.
The Grapes of Wrath by
Call Number: PS 3537 T3234 G8 1999
Publication Date: 1999-02-01
First published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads-driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book--which takes its title from the first verse: "He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored." At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics. "It is Steinbeck's best novel, i.e., his toughest and tenderest, his roughest written and most mellifluous, his most realistic and, in its ending, his most melodramatic, his angriest and most idyllic. It is great in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin was great. One of the most impassioned and exciting books of the year." --Time
The Ten-Cent Plague by
Call Number: PN 6725 H33 2008
Publication Date: 2008-03-18
In the years between World War II and the emergence of television, American popular culture as we know it was first created - in the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books. No sooner had this new culture emerged, however, than conservative groups tried to suppress it.